“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Today’s Alleluia Verse.)
A note about yesterday’s “reflection:” Every once in a while we have to be reminded that the glories of the computer are not without occasional glitches when they try to show us that they are really the ones in charge. Don’t ask me how Friday’s reflection got lost. It was written but somehow I must have hit the wrong button and didn’t even notice. But, in keeping with one of my oft repeated sayings, “We can’t always go back and maybe someone needed to hear those words a second time.” (At least, that’s the excuse that I’m using!) Here, though is the correct reflection for Saturday!
Today’s Feast: Dedication of Saint Mary Major Basilica
Leviticus 25:1, 8-17 – Psalm 67 – Matthew 14:1-12
“The earth has yielded its fruits; God, our God, has blessed us. May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!” (Psalm 67:7-8)
In the liturgies for weekdays the Holy Scripture readings are not automatically complimentary of each other. At this time we are going through the OT Book of Leviticus and the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. Each of these scriptures is more or less presented sequentially and the Responsorial Psalm is chosen to be a kind of “bridge” between the two. Sometimes it seems to work easily; other times – like today – it’s a bit harder to see any connection. Let me see what I can come up with.
The bottom line of this passage from Leviticus has as its “goal” justice for all and it goes to great lengths to lie out the exact manner in which this can be achieved. But we all know that “true justice” requires a deeper base than written law can give.
In today’s Holy Gospel, Herod – pleased with the dance of the daughter of Herodias – makes an outlandish statement in front of all his guests – “I will give you whatever you might ask for!” This reminds me of the “wish of Midas” to turn anything he touched into gold and what that actually brought him! I have to ask, “What did seeing the head of John the Baptist on a platter do for the daughter of Herodias?” What does storing up barns full of wheat do for a person who doesn’t have charity for others?
I have to come back to a verse from Deuteronomy (Deut. 30:19) “Behold! I set before you life and death… Choose life that you might live!”
Something for us to think about: what do I really want God to do for me? And don’t forget that other saying, “Put your mind in gear before you engage your mouth!” Amen!